Law News
Lawyer seeks better enforcement of child’s right laws

Funmi Falana

A Lagos-based legal practitioner, Mrs. Funmi Falana, has called for the domestication of all the international conventions and declarations on the rights of children to which Nigeria is a signatory.

Falana, who noted that only 24 out of the 36 states of the federation had enacted the Child Rights Act, also charged the states’ legislators to rise up to their responsibility.

The legal practitioner made the call last week at an inter-schools essay and debate competitions held in Lagos in commemoration of the World Human Rights Day.

The competition was organised by the Directorate for Citizen’s Rights for the pupils and students of private and public primary and secondary schools in Lagos State.

Falana, who was the guest of honour at the occasion, suggested a nine-point approach to enforcing the Child Rights Act 2003 in all the states of the federation.

In a paper titled, “the rights of the child”, Falana advocated a proper electoral reform that would facilitate the evolution of responsible leaders needed for advancing the right of the children.

Falana also called for more independence for judges in order for them to to be able to apply the provisions of all the laws, including the Child Rights Act, without fear or favour.

She urged the government and Nigerians in general to pay more and genuine attention to moral and religious virtues, which she said could make children appreciate the value of being their brother’s keeper and to be considerate to the rights and interest of other persons, especially children in the society.

In his own submission at the occasion, the Lagos state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye, charged parents and caregivers to safeguard their children against all forms of abuse and violence through the creation of awareness on the rights of the children.

Ipaye said that the principles of human right should be inculcated in the youths at their earliest formative stage.

He said this would ensure that they imbibe the principles of fairness, non-discrimination, inclusiveness and respect for fellow beings, irrespective of age.

Ipaye pointed out that the success of all the laws and policies protecting the rights of the children depended largely on the cooperation of the members of the society.

“I will like to use the opportunity of this occasion to enjoin all Lagosians to partner with the government in ensuring that the rights of our children are safeguarded”, he pleaded.

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